Silk Road: Georgian Salad

I was blown away by the Georgian salad which I had in Tbilisi and then again in the Qazbegi mountains. Greek-salad-style chunky, the ingredients are reminiscent of the Indian Kachumber (tomatoes, cucumber, onion). I have no doubt in my mind that the salads of these regions of the Silk Road have taught each other a thing or two.

Conspicuously absent are greens (arugula or kale or even the ubiquitous lettuce). Here I use seasonal green pea shoots, albeit in the pesto. I drop the cucumber, since we are already well into Autumn. I dare to add some raw beet (spiralized, of course, masquerading alongside the sliced Spanish onions) and a handful of the micro greens. Dressed generously in a walnut pesto, this salad is bound to steal your heart.

Special tools:

Food processor (for pesto); spiralizer (for beet).


  • Pesto: 2 cups (green pea shoots and a little radish micro-greens) + 1 cup walnuts, toasted with one dried red chilli + 1/4 cup cheese + 2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice + salt, pepper to taste + 1/3 cup EVOO
  • 2 cups medium sized tomatoes, halved or quartered + 1 Spanish red onion + 1 cup spiralized beet (raw) + 1/2 cup (pea shoots & micro radish greens)
  • Topping: EVOO, a few crushed walnuts


Make the pesto in a food processor. Mix the salad ingredients. Scatter 3-4 dollops of pesto and a dash of the topping.

Notes, hints, tips:
  1. In the right season, you can add chunks of cucumber to the salad.
  2. Ideally I would have added parmesan cheese; instead I used cubes of Manchego cheese and a little goat cheese here.
  3. Beet is a very common ingredient of the region and I unabashedly use it in the salad here.
  4. In the Georgian salad the pesto is not mixed with the ingredients but placed in chunks over it. My friend even mistook it for broccoli.

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